The ITC is excited to have officially opened up our own Materials Room located on the second floor of 70 Havemeyer Street. Inspired by the schools for infants and toddlers in Reggio Emilia, Italy, we strongly believe in the power of working with open-ended & recycled materials.
When we provide our children with such items, we are fostering their ability to think, problem solve, manipulate and reason. These skills will carry on into adulthood. Our ability to think creatively and abstractly is enhanced when we have the opportunity to work with items that call out to be changed and manipulated. These items draw us in, they draw our children in, and they move us to communicate. Educators inspired by the Reggio approach are fond of saying that children communicate in “100 languages,” meaning that they share their wants, needs, and ideas not just through the verbal language that begins to emerge in these early years, but also through movement, play, art, dance, and constructing and creating with manmade and natural objects. Providing a wide range of open-ended materials is one way that we encourage our children to explore many forms of expression.
Our new Materials Room is a resource for the entire ITC community. We encourage families to bring in their recyclables or donate unneeded items from home so that our teachers can utilize them throughout the school year for project work, art projects, assembly and more. The materials are sorted and organized so that teachers and children can easily access items ranging from newspaper to stones to cardboard tubes.
The Materials Center is also a place where teachers can work on documentation. When we document children’s work, we strive to provide our community with meaningful, inspiring descriptions of the work our children are doing. Not only that, the children can work here too! A special area of the room has been sectioned off so that children can come to work together in small groups. We’re excited to share our work with you soon!
Amanda Krieger, Jellyfish Head Teacher